The Right to Assemble … in Church

by: Brent Smith

Last Friday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge granted Los Angeles church-goers the right to worship inside the Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, despite Governor Gavin Newsom’s draconian restrictions.

“Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon ruled that [Los Angeles County-based] Grace Community Church can continue to hold indoor services as long as worshippers wear face coverings and practice social distancing,” writes the Blaze.

For many conservatives, this was hailed as a major victory, striking a legal blow at the heart of the radical, anti-religion left.

Well, I guess, in one sense, it kind-of is, if one only considers the case superficially. But looking at this situation through a constitutionalist lense – even a Common one (get it?), it’s only a partial win. read more

Safety at All Cost Trumps the Bill of Rights Again

What’s the difference between the Communist Chinese dragging people out of their homes for “safety” sake, and today’s America?

Answer: Location – that’s all. One is forced to leave their home, the other is forced to stay put.

Now what’s the difference between the Communist Chinese welding peoples’ doors shut so they can’t escape, and demanding American citizens not leave their home under penalty of the new police State? Answer: Very little.

Is this what we’ve so rapidly devolved into?

from Zero Hedge:

Kentucky Couple Forced To Wear Ankle Bracelets After Refusing Self-Isolation Order

A Kentucky couple can’t travel more than 200 feet from home after authorities slapped a pair of ankle bracelets on them following an argument over COVID-19.

Elizabeth Linscott tested positive for the virus last weekend despite having no symptoms. Following her test, the health department contacted her and asked that she sign documents agreeing to self-quarantine unless she calls the health department first. Linscott refused to sign the form, the Self-isolation and Controlled Movement Agreed Order. read more

The Unprecedented Denial of Our Natural Rights

by: Brent Smith

In late April, 2020, Thomas G. West, professor of politics at Hillsdale College, joined Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale, and two other esteemed conservative academics, Kevin Portteus and Adam Carrington, in a symposium to discuss, “The Coronavirus and the Constitution.”

Normally I single out just Dr. Arnn, as no one, in my opinion, is more versed in everything related to our founding fathers, the documents they created, and how prescient their thoughts and writings are and how they still apply to today’s societal ills.

What most impressed me, beyond the obvious expertise of the subject, is his plain-spokeness. He didn’t spend his time spewing talking points or bloviating in academic gibberish speak, as virtually all leftist academics do.

West plainly and succinctly explained how the left is violating, not only our natural rights, but their oaths of office to uphold the national and their owns State’s Constitutions.

Enjoy the education: read more

Thank God for the Anti-Federalists

by: Brent Smith

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Over the past few months, we’ve seen many of our natural rights “temporarily” stripped away. Maybe it’s time to remind us who to thank for them and what we might look like without them.

In an Oct. 24, 1787, letter to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison expressed that, “Col. [George] Mason left Philadelphia in an exceeding ill humor indeed. A number of little circumstances arising in part from the impatience which prevailed towards the close of the business, conspired to whet his acrimony. He returned to Virginia with a fixed disposition to prevent the adoption of the plan if possible. He considers the want of a bill of rights as a fatal objection.”

At the Constitutional Convention, in mid-September 1787, committed Anti-Federalists George Mason and Eldridge Gerry failed to persuade any of their fellow delegates to preface the Constitution with a bill of rights.

“It would give great quiet to the people,” urged Mason. He also thought it would be easy to compile a list given the widespread presence of an introductory bill of rights at the state level. A few days later, on Sept. 17, 1787, both Mason and Gerry declined to sign the Constitution, citing the absence of a bill of rights.

Mason’s main objection was that, “There is no Declaration of Rights, and the laws of the general [federal] government being paramount to the laws and constitution of the several States, the Declaration of Rights in the separate States are no security. Nor are the people secured even in the enjoyment of the benefit of common law.” read more

WND Exclusive – Hey, lefties, ‘safety’ is not a natural right

from Brent Smith for World Net Daily:

Cities and counties have defied the federal government for years, proclaiming them to be sanctuary cities, where illegal aliens have been shielded from constitutionally created federal laws.

This lawless behavior is seen as OK and is actually encouraged by leftist political activists, politicians and hacks.

On the flip side, “The City of Atwater has declared itself a ‘sanctuary city’ for all businesses, allowing owners to open despite the state of California’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic,” writes ABC30.

This behavior, however, is decidedly not OK – at least not to the left.

See, whether it’s legal, constitutional or simply a matter of right or wrong is of no concern to these leftists. To the average leftist it’s whatever “feels” right that counts.

But to the authoritarian statist politician or bureaucrat, it’s much more. A cause, whatever it is, is useless to them if it doesn’t advance their agenda. And that agenda is always the same – the desire to gain and retain more power and control. read more

Bill of Rights: 9 Apply to the Individual, but 1 Does Not?

by: Brent Smith

No Audio Version

It’s dawned on me what should be the most obvious argument for the individual right to “keep and bear arms.”

The primary purpose of the 10 Amendments that form the Bill of Rights is to protect the natural rights of the individual from an encroaching federal government function. The only way someone would not know this is if they have not read them.

In fact, each of the Bill of Right’s 10 Amendments, of which there were originally 17, states this by use of the words person, people, owner, or accused. The only two that do not expressly state the individual are the 7th and 8th. They do however use inference to make the point that both pertain to the individual.

So when a leftist begins to spout off about the Second Amendment, that it applies only to militias, we must remind of them of this. If necessary, review each of the 10 and it will become clear that the founders did not intend for nine of the 10 to pertain primarily to the individual and yet single out just the Second as not having any individual protection component. It defies logic. But then so does liberalism. read more

Democrat or Republican – They All Attempt to Violate our Rights

This is just one more example of the genius and prescience of the founders. Just where would be without the Bill of Rights?

from the Federalist:

DOJ Lawsuit Demands Names Of All People Who Use This App For Their Gun

Creeping government control is nothing new, but the DOJ’s recent disregard for the Second and Fourth Amendments shows old protections against abuses of power will wear thin without public vigilance.

The Bill of Rights was written for a reason. As the government attempts to violate the rights protected in it in new and different ways, it gives us more reasons to be thankful for its authors’ wisdom.

Last week, we saw another example of this as the Department of Justice (DOJ) tried to violate the Fourth Amendment while stepping on the Second Amendment by demanding that the manufacturer of a rifle scope give the department the names of everyone who downloaded an app connected with the product. Correctly, the manufacturer has refused to do so.

The story almost did not make it into the news: DOJ’s order was supposed to have been sealed, but Thomas Brewster, a cybersecurity reporter for Forbes, was able to view a copy before it was concealed. His story on the DOJ request shed some light on the heavy-handed tactics the government uses in secret to violate the people’s constitutionally protected civil rights. That the order was almost kept hidden from the public also raises the question of how often this has happened before and how many companies have given the feds what they’ve demanded.

The DOJ Is Violating the Bill of Rights

The company in question, American Technologies Network (ATN), manufactures scopes and has developed the Obsidian 4 app. The app allows users to connect the scopes to their phone to better calibrate them. It also allows them to record video and to livestream the view.

Nothing about this violates any federal or state law, and the product is popular. It had more than 10,000 downloads when the story broke last week, and according to the reviews on Google Play, many more people have since downloaded it in protest.

The government’s interest in the app comes because of its investigation into the suspected exporting of the scope to foreign countries. Under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, the government requires licenses to export arms, which presumably includes accessory items such as scopes. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the State and Commerce Departments have some overlapping jurisdiction, depending on the type of weapon. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seems to be the lead agency on this particular action, as a part of its larger “Project Shield America” initiative.

Read more

The Left’s Bill of Wrongs

by: Brent Smith

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The Atlantic wrote recently of, “an obscure New York City ordinance governing how firearms owners could—note the past tense—travel with their weapons.”

Under this law, “New Yorkers with a “premises” license had to keep their guns in their homes at all times, except when being taken to a licensed target-shooting facility for practice and training. But those facilities had to be in New York City itself. “Premises” licensees could not put their guns in their trunk and drive out of town for any reason—not to go to a gun range, not to compete in a shooting match, not to take the guns to a second home.”

A premises license? Well heck. If this isn’t unconstitutional, I frankly don’t know what is. Just where in the Second Amendment does it say anything about being forced to keep your guns at home at all times? Answer: NOWHERE!!

But as bad as this is, it is not my point.

The plantiffs, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, as well as the NRA, sued all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and much to most peoples’ surprise, they agreed to review the case. read more

Podcast – A Good Crisis is Tailor Made for a Gun Grab

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

The New Zealand Mosque shootings was a crisis, tailor made for a State crack down on freedom. But despite the gun grab in New Zealand, liberal politicians have insisted forever, that they don’t want to take away our guns here in the U.S.

But it’s just like socialism. Years ago, if someone on the right accused someone on the left of being a socialist, it would have sparked outrage. How dare we try to label them as socialist. They would say that we’re just fearmongering.

Now, not many years later, socialism has all but been entirely embraced by the left. I mean, they’ve always embraced it in some form. It’s just now they’re admitting to it, and no longer shy away from the “S” word. Socialism of course.

And like socialism, American gun-grabbers have begun to take the mask of reason off. However, the one thing standing in their way is the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which is unique and superior to all others, and not subject to the crisis du jour.

Thank Heavens for that. read more

Without the Second Amendment, We Would be New Zealand

This is just one more demonstration of the sheer genius of our Founders. They understood human nature as few have. And thank God for George Mason, Elbridge Gerry and the anti-Federalists, who insisted that a Bill of Rights be added to our Constitution, for without it, we would be in the same predicament as are law-abiding New Zealand gun owners.

from Conservative Review:

New Zealand’s knee-jerk gun ban is EXACTLY why we have the Second Amendment

Thank goodness we have the Second Amendment. I say that a lot, but I’m especially grateful after seeing the latest news out of New Zealand.

Less than a week after the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand has moved to ban and confiscate semi-automatic long guns. read more